COVID-19 Weekly Roundup: In Case You Missed It
COVID-19 By the Numbers (as of May 29):

  • Alameda County: 3,195 confirmed cases, 95 deaths. 95 patients are currently hospitalized (including City of Berkeley data)..
  • Contra Costa County: 1,384 confirmed cases, 37 deaths. 13 patients are currently hospitalized.
  • California: 103,886 confirmed cases, 4,068 deaths. 4,414 patients are currently hospitalized with positive or suspected COVID-19 (as of May 28).
  • US: 1,719,827 cases, 101,711 deaths.
In the Political Sphere

Yesterday, May 28, the U.S. House passed the " Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act ," which will grant small businesses more time and flexibility in using their Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans . To learn more about the bill, read the CMA summary .

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced changes to Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. New requirements will increase access to telehealth services for seniors enrolled in the plan, expand types of supplemental benefits that are available to MA plan users who have chronic diseases, provide support for MA plan users in rural communities , and expand access to MA for patients with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD ).
Policy Developments

The American Medical Association (AMA) released an advisory on mentally preparing patients for the future COVID-19 vaccine in an effort to combat vaccine hesitancy . Vaccine hesitancy poses a great risk to the establishment of herd immunity.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Triage of Suspected COVID-19 Patients in non-US Healthcare Settings . Updates clarify how healthcare workers can protect themselves while triaging patients, as well as updating guidelines to screen for fever OR history of fever.

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released an All Facilities Letter for Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) to develop COVID-19 mitigation and testing plans to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in nursing facilities.

The CDPH also released guidance for Cooling Centers , which may potentially provide a route of transmission of COVID-19 among visitors and staff. Older adults or those with underlying medical conditions may be more inclined to gather at Cooling Centers during the summer, putting them at greater risk of COVID-19 exposure.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released a letter to health care providers, reminding facilities to use the appropriate decontamination cycle associated with the sterilization system available. Only certain N95 or N95-equivalent respirators may be decontaminated for reuse.
Funding, Funding, Funding

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded multiple rounds of funding recently, primarily to expand COVID-19 testing services. $15 million was awarded to combat COVID-19 in rural tribal communities across 20 states. An additional $500 million was awarded to the Indian Health Services (IHS) and tribal hospitals, clinics, and urban health centers to support the tribal response to COVID-19 . Nearly $500 million was awarded to California to support COVID-19 testing and contact tracing across the state. Lastly, HHS announced that nearly $4.9 billion would be distributed to nursing facilities to combat COVID-19.

In future funding news, the deadline to apply for the 2nd round of HHS provider relief funds is June 3. Only physicians who received funding from the first round are eligible to apply for the second round of funding.

The HHS also announced a 45-day deadline extension for providers who are receiving payments from the Provider Relief Fund to accept the Terms and Conditions for the payments. Providers now have 90 days from the date they received payment to accept the Terms and Conditions.
What We're Reading - Resources and Guidance
ACCMA's On-Demand Library

This one-hour, on-demand webinar led by Linda Hawes Clever, MD, MACP, offers practical, creative, and effective remedies to deal with the crush on personal and professional lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. It contains strategies, resources, and suggestions for handling physician wellness, as well as addressing questions and answers, as we listen and see the ingenuity, guts, and devotion with which we are addressing the harrowing challenges we all face as a profession, community, and nation. Discover how to reduce personal stress and learn healthy ways to contend with the impact of COVID-19. 

FREE | Available On-Demand
Telehealth services are expanding rapidly during the COVID-19 crisis. In partnership with Bay Area medical associations, the ACCMA teamed up with experts to develop a comprehensive webinar series to help physicians swiftly ramp up their telemedicine capabilities, from technology to practice implementation to coding. Experts discuss choosing a telemedicine platform; compliance; privacy and security considerations; billing and payment; policies, procedures, and workflow; informing your patients; and malpractice. Physicians who have experience practicing telemedicine share their practical reflections.

FREE | Available On-Demand
Medical offices and practices are essential businesses and were not required to close, but many physicians have faced difficulties with staffing, incorporating Telemedicine into their practices, ensuring waiting rooms are safe, etc. Sessions include "Getting Back Up and Running Safely," "HR and Employment Issues," and "Telemedicine and Reimbursement."
Please contact ACCMA at 510-654-5383 or with any questions or concerns you have. Questions can also be directed to the ACCMA Slack channel , where physicians can respond to and receive feedback from other physicians.
This information will also be posted online at and will be updated frequently. Please check the ACCMA website regularly for updates.